Tony Penultimate

Houston has a problem

Uh-oh - today was crash and burn day with the jet lag - I'd gotten up again at 3.30AM to type this up, and then having done it and had a shower, decided I was 'good to go' as they say here - I should have slept more as the whole day passed in a somnabulent haze. We left the Houston hotel at 9.30 and then drove to the airport, with the same driver Mike who'd collected us on our flight from London.  

To coin a cliche which I'd been trying to avoid, Houston did have a problem according to driver Mike: a blaze at a chemical plant in a district called Newport had disoloured the sky with a huge pall of smoke and many schools in the area had closed due to the fumes.Car we passed on the way to the airportOur next gigs were up north and we were taking two flights - one to Detroit and then connecting to Lancing - a university town in Michigan which we'd last played in 2012. We are on basic economy tickets for all our flights (which means clinging to the wings, undercarriage etc) but our Houston - Detroit flight was good, with plenty of leg room.This is the most tiring thing with tours that involve multiple flights - going through security. Bus travel is pretty much always preferable and you can stretch out and do your own thing.Will cops a burgerGetting on the plane to DetroitOn arrival in Detroit, the news came through that our gig at the Chicago Symphony Centre had been cancelled! This is a big blow for us, as its by far the largest and most prestigious gig of the tour and as the musicians of the orchestra are on strike - there is nothing we can do. On announcing this on social media, our feed immediatly filled up with comments such as 'come to Kentucky!' or 'play in Pennsylvania' - but the reality is that tours like this take many months of rigorous planning, years ahead of the actual event - we'll just have to kick our heels.

Screen time in the departure lounge in Detroit

On the connecting plane to Lansing

As soon as we got off the plane we noticed the difference in temperature - it was cold - we'd been delayed in Detroit and by the time we got to our hotel, I noticed it had started snowing.

The time difference means that we are one hour forward from Texas, and dispite being zonked, I managed to make it out to an Italian for a bite to eat with some of the crew and then I hit the hay.

 

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